When became ska!

An interview with Håkan Sandsjö done in september 2004




Please tell me a little history about why, when how you started to play? 
-We started some years before the punk came and was inspired by pre-punkbands like MC5, Flamin Groovies, Dr Feelgood.
Much from the english pubrockwave which came before the punkwave. We was tired of Scandinavium  with heavy metal and symphonyrock.

You were never any pure punkband, so why did you been mixed up with the punkbands then? 

-We was inspired by the punk to do own material. It was faster pop/rock. We and Göteborg Sound was a little bit older than the other bands. So we were the energetic part in Garageligan. We was the ones who looked for permission and those things.

You did three singles, why not any more records during these years?
-Three singles in 2 years. We started to record a LP 1980. It became 5 songs and then the people at Nacksving didn´t want to have us anymore. Those songs we release now instead.

Explain the lyrics ”I hate Sigmund Freud, he have been like a father to me” ?
-The singer Thorbjörn Jonsson was studying psychology in that time. He was irritated on Freuds complextheorys as an explanation on everything.

You will now play on Svensk Punk 26 years, was it to hard to get you going there??
-Yeah, from the start. We was asked for this many years ago(13 I think) when the punkcompilations first came and we was asked last year too. We have never liked the nostalgything and we thought it would be a thing for the nearest. But when I , Hans and Thorbjörn was DJ´s on Svensk Punk 25 we noticed how many young people who was there. It´s always fun to check out how the new audience like our music.

What does the members do today?
Is it someone who does music today?
-Hans have always  done his homestudiothings. But noone have stand on a stage in 20 years. We quit 1984. 

You release a CD with all singletracks+ten extrasongs, where does the songs come from? 
-Eight is newmastered singletracks. Five comes from the LP which never came out and five is from a demo which was broadcasted on radio

What was the most fun with playing back in time, what was your strength as a liveband? 

-That we had fun and it was swinging a lot.

After the punktime you went over to a more skabased music, what happened?
-I think we were as best when we started to play ska. Specials was a big inspiration. And then it was OK for the audience to dance again.

What did punk meant to you,was it only a word or a lifestyle?
-It was much of a style. Maybe not a lifestyle for me. It maybe don´t changed society but it changed the music history. I work with advertisement and punk was an enormous creative revolution when it came and it was for many years. Punk affected the fashionindustry, design and much more. 

Which was the most important punkband in Sweden?
-Ebba Grön was the best and the most important. We played with them some times. 

Which is the best punksong?
-Levande Begravd with Liket Lever or maybe Vaskarubli with Ebba.

What was the different between the northern punk/Southern/Gothenburg and the stockholmspunk?

-Norrland(northern Sweden) was the darkest, Skåne(southern) was fun and good(Kriminella) Gothenburg –was hating in a nice mood and Stockholm was trendy/drugs and shortlived

Which is your best song?
-90 % is fine pop, Radio Aktiv swings but the skasong Fjärde Riket is the best and the most own.

What did you thought was most important, to have a good lyric or to have a good melody?
-Can you do good music without having an important lyrics. It´s going together of course, The right feeling in the wholeness is most important. We are musicfans and not politicans.



Who is the best lyricwriter in Sweden today?
-Henrik Berggren in Broder Daniel

Politics and music, does it goes hand in hand?

-Sometimes this is right.

And even the really personally lyrics can be political. If you manage to do the personal something that all can be part in. We can hope that REM and the other bands can kick away Bush. 

Can music change anyones life? Please tell me if it is so or?

-All people who is in love with music have got a life after that. I was behind the record for Salvation Army did some years ago. All people who was involved there felt that you have done some good there. And then it came in 16 millions to the homeless. 

What is the most weird which have happened during your time as a band, in the audience or  on the stage? 
-When we did american rocksongs in a progressive festival in Slottsskogen some year before the punk and we was accused to be USA- imperialists. Or when we played in front of four persons on (it was shown that this was a boycotted club) a club in Örebro.

Please rank your five favourite records, five favourite concerts and five most important things?
-It´s hopeless because it´s too many

Velvet Underground- Velvet Underground
Clash -London Calling
Iggy and the Stooges - Fun House
The Specials-The Specials
Television- Marquee Moon

The Band - Last Waltz (I was there)
The Clash in Leicester 1978
Patti Smith, Heartbreakers in New York 1977
Joe Jackson in Kåren
Håkan Hellström- Lisebergshallen

My wife Karin
My musicinterest
My good work

First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-Sgt Pepper with Beatles
Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
I don´t buy expensive rarities, I like mostly used and to buy on sales. I must admit that I´m weak for expensive boxes.

Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-It´s fun with embarrassing records. I collect “bad” disco. The most embarrassing is my wifes Sting-records..

The record you bought just for the nice cover and you get disappointed on?
-CD covers are not often impressing.

How do you you see at punk today, is it alive or?
Do you listening anything on punk today?

-The last wave with Rancid, Green Day and so on had some good songs but it was something we have heard before. Todays punk I have bad check on.

Good bands in Sweden today?
-Much Gothenburg. Håkan Hellström, Broder Daniel, The Plan, Soundtrack, Skalman

Futureplans for yourself?
-Continue as a designer.
It would be fun to do recordcovers again.

Is it going to be more gigs with Bruset after this?
-Ce la vie

-90% of everything is shit. Because you shall find the 10 % which worth to win. 

Something to add?